San Vittore Conciato

Ark of taste
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It is still possible to find raw milk conciato cheese, an almost forgotten cheese, in the municipalities of Picinisco and San Vittore, in the area of lower Lazio on the border with Campania.

And yet conciato is one of the oldest cheeses of the region – its origins actually date back to the Sannite population – and it has a strong tie to the pastures and mountains where it is produced. It is obtained from the milk of Sopravvissane, Camosciate and Massesi sheep, all indigenous races of Lazio that were taken with the transhumance to pastures at an altitude of 1200 – 1400 meters.

Its characteristic is the curing (i.e. processing) of the crust, with around fifteen aromatic and officinalis herbs (chamomile, thyme, laurel, juniper, sage, rosemary, wild fennel, anise, garlic, pepper, cilantro, etc.) all gathered by hand in the production area. In the past this technique was necessary for preserving the product and keeping insects and bacteria away from the inside of the cheese and to give it flavor.

Curing is a processing technique requiring a lot of effort. It is done by using wooden tools, such as a stirring stick, and left to purge on wooden boards. The forms, which are normally rather small and reach a maximum of 1.5 kilos, are placed on wooden shelves where they remain for at least 45 days.

Conciato has a very thin, or no, crust. The inner paste is white, soft, moist and rather crumbly. It develops notes of herbs reminiscent of pastures, a clear flowery aroma and animal sensations of sheep. The paste is slightly sticky, soluble, sweet and acid and intensely aromatic with a high persistence.

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Territory

StateItaly
Region

Lazio

Production area:Picinisco e San Vittore Communes (province of Frosinone)

Other info

Categories

Milk and milk products

Nominated by:Loreto Pacitti